Courses: Good Guys & Gals? Quaker Imagery in Fiction (WRPRH156A01)
What have been the literary uses of Quaker ideas and images in fiction? How have these changed over time? Fiction-writers often use codified images such as Biblical characters, landscapes, serpents or other animals, in order to promote a certain mood or sub-text in their readers' minds. And religion is often the overt or hidden agenda for fiction-writerswith the journey through life, its concomitant challenges, and the conquest of those challenges bringing the reader to a dramatic conclusion. But Quakers, so few in number (only a few hundred thousand of us in the entire world!) dont show up in fiction very often. This is partly because early Quakers banned the writing and reading of fiction. Yet, as early as 1810, Quakers DO appear in fictionboth as authors and characters. Here on the Haverford campus, with its Quaker heritage and traditions, is housed perhaps the largest collection of Quaker novels anywhere in the worldfiction by or about Quakers, often populated with characters whose Quakerliness is designed to evoke a certain mood, message, or subtext. For some authors, Quakers became stand-ins for virtue. For others, the Quaker image is of the troublemaker, the nay-sayer, the haughty, unbending zealot. In this course we will read excerpts from an array of Quaker fiction. Then, through class discussions, written essays, and through considering each others writing, students will explore how commentators have interpreted the meaning of "Quakerness" in literature." Though this is not a history course per se, students will emerge from the course with sharpened skills in historical inquiry and research.
Prerequisites: Open only to Frist-Year Students as assigned by the Director of College Writing
Fulfills: HU FW Limit:12
Haverford, Gest 102